ntroduce your business and what you do there.
I am the COO of Marken PPE Restoration, a workwear company. We clean and repair the uniforms that firefighters and first responders wear into a fire. Additionally, we created a proprietary wash technology called X Orbs, a polymer bead we use to gently clean the uniforms. I am responsible for the overall operations of the entire business unit.
What challenge were you trying to address with 923 Digital?
In the fire industry, there are a lot of federal regulations for recordkeeping. Platforms that accomplished this existed already, but no one platform had everything we wanted. We decided to build an internal system and needed a development partner.
What was the scope of their involvement?
923 Digital developed a cloud-based web application. The app can be accessed across all of our facilities, even internationally. Naval and fire departments that are customers of ours will be able to access the same information in real time.
The platform can remind fire departments when their uniforms are due for a cleaning. The dashboards also track the lifespan of the garments and how much money they’ve spent on them. We can also do our invoicing through the system. The web app is mobile responsive on both iOS and Android devices.
The platform is currently in its third iteration. We have an ongoing contract with 923 Digital and always envisioned the platform as one that would change and evolve.
What is the team composition?
We worked with Pavel (Co-founder, 923 Digital) and four members of the 923 Digital team.
How did you come to work with 923 Digital?
They had developed some other programs for our parent company, so when I went to the IT department to seek their advice on partners they directed me to 923 Digital. Since we had an existing relationship and knew they were trustworthy, we decided to work with them.
How much have you invested with them?
We have invested about $50,000–$75,000.
What is the status of this engagement?
Our ongoing engagement with 923 Digital began in August 2017.
What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
We’re currently using the web app internally at four of our locations. Feedback from the staff has been great! We’ve also shown the platform at a couple of trade shows and conventions, including FDIC and Firehouse World.
The web app is also being used by customers who have given us positive feedback. Our demos of the project have yielded positive results. 923 Digital often suggests changes that we choose to implement.
How did 923 Digital perform from a project management standpoint?
I can’t say enough about Pavel and his team. They are incredibly responsive, I’ve never had to wait more than 24 hours for them to at least acknowledge a request. The team is always willing to tell us when they need additional time to get us an answer. 923 Digital is quick to make updates and is always able to fix any arising problems.
What did you find most impressive about them?
Their customer service has been outstanding. 923 Digital always responds to our inquiries. Additionally, our CTO felt that they provided a great value for the cost. They’re an overall great team to work with and I see why our parent company has stuck with them for so long.
Are there any areas they could improve?
No, everything has been great.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
Don’t hold back, just throw it all at them. 923 Digital is always able to help. Everything we’ve given them, they’ve been able to pull off, even the things I was doubtful about.
Firefighters rely on their turnout gear as their main source of protection when fighting a fire. Therefore, protective clothing must be kept in top condition in order to ensure firefighter performance and safety while on the job.
Marken PPE is proud to serve our nation's firefighters. As a fully registered independent service provider they are conducting the advanced cleaning, repair, sanitization, and decontamination of gear and personal protective equipment out of their base location in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Marken was looking to build mTrack, a PPE tracking software for both the fire department and Marken facilities. The goal was to replace the old system that was originally developed in 1997 in a strategic move to position Marken as an industry leader. The software had to support various stages of the business: decontaminations, inspection, washing, drying, repair, packaging and shipping. It had to integrate with barcode readers and bulk RFID scanners, enable reporting and forecasting for the billing team and provide transparency to customers and the management team.
All Marken facilities are now equipped with state-of-the-art technology and follow a documented ISO 9001 registered Quality Management System (QMS) governing every process of their operation. The software handles the entire processing of gear in and out of the facility, through various stations and stages. We have integrated it with the billing and shipping systems, RFID and barcode scanners and developed a robust reporting and forecasting solutions.